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Matt Hancock dodges questions about the loophole as savvy landlords reveal Tier 2 plans


Savvy landlords have announced their plans to continue drawing pints in Tier 2 areas despite severe restrictions as thousands of eager Brits flocked to watering holes for the first time in a month today.

The shrewd landlords of so-called "wet pubs", who normally don't serve food, are joining forces with takeaways to keep serving drinks.

All pubs in Tier 2 areas must serve a "full meal" of alcoholic beverages under new rules that come into effect today after the end of the one-month national lockdown in England.

But these no kitchen pubs are now preparing to serve takeout to keep the pints flowing.

A Worcester pub is partnering with a local fish and chip shop to provide food to drinkers, while a bar in central London plans to let customers order McDonald's to bypass the rules.

It comes from keen pub-goers returning to the watering holes for a full English breakfast as a pint this morning after being locked out for a month during the national shutdown.

In the meantime, Matt Hancock dodged questions today to fill a void where pubs could join forces with takeaways to keep drawing pints.

In the final round of interviews with ministers standing over food and pubs before a barbecue evening, the health minister masked questions about whether watering holes could use snack services to keep serving alcoholic beverages.

Instead, he said it was "very clear the legal principles of what is expected and what is not," and warned those who break the law to stand trial.

In the last round of interviews, where cabinet ministers faced grilling food in pubs, the health minister did not say whether watering holes could use takeaway services to keep pint pouring

In the last round of interviews, where cabinet ministers faced grilling food in pubs, the health minister did not say whether watering holes could use takeaway services to keep pint pouring

In Worcester, a pub, The Brewers Arms (pictured) is working with a nearby fish and chip shop to stay open according to Tier 2 rules

In Worcester, a pub, The Brewers Arms (pictured) is working with a nearby fish and chip shop to stay open according to Tier 2 rules

The Brewers Arms (pictured) who don't have a kitchen, Mark and Debie Daniels have teamed up with Nick Zipiti of St. John's Fish Bar, according to Worcester News

The Brewers Arms (pictured) who don't have a kitchen, Mark and Debie Daniels have teamed up with Nick Zipiti of St. John's Fish Bar, according to Worcester News

One pub that wants take-away help is G-A-Y-Bar in Soho, London.

The bar does not normally serve food. But it is preparing for customers to have McDonald's delivered to bypass the rules.

Owner Jeremy Joseph told the Sun, "McDonald's was chosen for its cheap menu, which means anyone can socialize regardless of their budget."

What can you do on each row in a pub?

  • Tier 1 – Pubs are open to alcohol or food, and people from different households are allowed to sit together.
  • Rank 2 – Pubs can only serve alcohol with a “substantial meal”. People from different households can only sit outside and have to follow the “rule of six”. Those who sit at the same table in the pub must come from the same household.
  • Tier 3 – Pubs are closed to everything except take away.

In Worcester, a pub works with a nearby fish and chip shop to stay open on Tier 2 rules.

Mark and Debie Daniels of The Brewers Arms, who don't have a kitchen, have teamed up with Nick Zipiti of St. John's Fish Bar, according to Worcester News.

This means The Brewers Arms can continue to draw pints – which they otherwise couldn't do without serving a hearty meal alongside.

The pub is open during the normal chip shop hours and customers are asked to order food from the bar before they can buy a drink.

Mr. Daniels told the newspaper: “This partnership has allowed us to reopen as we don't have a kitchen on site. We went to the council and they were impressed with the idea and allowed us to work that way for the time being. I am very pleased. & # 39;

Another host in a pub jokingly renamed an ale to "Substantial Meal" to circumvent the new Covid-19 restrictions.

Brett Mendoza, 40, who owns the Caxton Arms in Brighton, East Sussex, got the idea while discussing what constitutes an essential meal with another landlord after the latest moves were announced last week.

An image of the fake beer pump clip, taken from the "made-up brewery" and described as "hearty, filling and tasty," was posted on social media last Wednesday titled "Bring on Tier 2".

The post garnered over 1,600 likes and more than 200 shares, with one social media user commenting: "Together with a bag of chips and a pickled egg, a meal that's enough for everyone."

Another simply tweeted, "Brilliant," while a third added, "I love this".

The fake beer pump clip that comes from the "invented brewery" and is described as "hearty, filling and tasty".

Brett Mendoza, 40, who owns the Caxton Arms in Brighton, got the idea as a joke while discussing with another landlord what constitutes an essential meal

Brett Mendoza (right), 40, who owns the Caxton Arms in Brighton, came up with the idea (left) as a joke while discussing with another landlord what constitutes an essential meal

Brighton and Hove will be ranked Tier 2 tomorrow, which means guests in England are no longer allowed to linger or order more alcohol after they have eaten (Image: Caxton Arms).

Brighton and Hove will be ranked Tier 2 tomorrow, which means guests in England are no longer allowed to linger or order more alcohol after they have eaten (Image: Caxton Arms).

The landlord (right) said he made up the name of the beer as part of a joke and that it wasn't a real brand, even though customers were already trying to order the alcohol

The landlord (right) said he made up the name of the beer as part of a joke and that it wasn't a real brand, even though customers were already trying to order the alcohol

Guests can eat outside of central London restaurants for the next six months

Guests will be able to dine al fresco outside of central London restaurants for the next six months, as it became known today.

Pubs and restaurants in the capital are allowed to reopen tomorrow under the Tier 2 coronavirus rules, as can much of the rest of the country.

Diners are allowed to eat together as long as a maximum of six people sit together and everyone in the group comes from the same support bubble or household when seated indoors.

And Westminster Council has announced that the new rules that allow groups of up to six people to eat outdoors in mixed households starting tomorrow will continue for another six months.

Council President Rachael Robathan said the program, which will allow venues to provide pop-up dining areas in streets, is an important way to support the hospitality industry.

She said: “We have 3,700 restaurants, pubs and bars in central London that support around 80,000 jobs.

"Hospitality is a big place to work for us, and while the sector still has some tough months ahead of the rest of the Tier 2 constraints, we can at least support those venues that can offer outdoor space."

At the same time, Westminster City Council has launched a "Shop Safe" campaign highlighting the steps the agency has taken to make the streets as safe as possible.

These include widening sidewalks, installing 11 km of bike paths, signage for social distances, and hand sanitizing stations across the city.

A social media campaign launched on Wednesday by Westminster City Council will underline the safety messages.

It is because Matt Hancock dodged the question today of whether pubs and takeaways in tier 2 areas could join forces to keep waterholes serving alcohol.

In today's conversation with Sky News, Mr. Hancock was repeatedly asked whether a snack could be delivered in a “wet pub” to serve alcoholic beverages to customers in tier 2.

He said, “We have made the legal principles very clear about what is expected and what is not. If you break this law, it is clearly stated. & # 39;

He added: “It is up to the courts to interpret each individual case. We will absolutely prevail against these laws. & # 39;

He continued: “The courts interpret the law established by parliament for this country.

“When people break this law, the courts must determine it based on individual circumstances.

"I don't think it is acceptable to go beyond the limits of these rules and it is up to the courts to interpret the law."

Meanwhile, today's debate over the Scotch Egg Gate is raging – the dispute over whether or not a Scotch egg can be an essential meal.

Mr Hancock appeared to be causing confusion over the treatment of eggs and meat in bed after Ministers blurred the lines with repeated changes of course yesterday.

Cabinet Secretary Michael Gove gave three different lines in three different interviews yesterday morning when asked about scotch eggs, which have become an unusual but important topic of conversation in the government's new Covid-19 tier system.

Regarding Scottish eggs, Hancock told Sky News, “A full meal is an established concept of hospitality.

“A Scottish egg, of course, served as an essential meal – that is an essential meal.

"We don't have to try to cross borders, we all have to take responsibility for our own actions."

He added, “The rules are the two different types of hospitality – those who obviously serve meals and those who don't.

"So a starter can be an essential meal, you can have a Scottish egg as a starter."

He said he wanted to move away from "picking at the borders".

It comes like yesterday when a dispute deepened over whether a Scottish egg can be classified as an "essential meal" under rules that only allow alcohol to be served with food from today.

Cabinet Secretary Michael Gove told LBC two Scottish eggs would be "a starter" 24 hours after Environment Secretary George Eustice said one was a significant meal.

Mr Gove reiterated his stance on LBC in a second interview on Good Morning Britain yesterday – before tracing ITV News and then saying, "A Scottish egg is an essential meal."

A number has broken out on whether a Scottish egg can be classified as an "essential meal".

Kings Head in Gosfield, Essex offers £ 1.99 plates on a & # 39; Boris Menu & # 39; like a hot dog and chips. baked beans on toast with cheese; and cheeseburgers and fries

Kings Head in Gosfield, Essex offers £ 1.99 plates on a & # 39; Boris Menu & # 39; like a hot dog and chips. baked beans on toast with cheese; and cheeseburgers and fries

London and Liverpool are ranked Tier 2, while only the Isle of Wight, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly are on the bottom tier

London and Liverpool are ranked Tier 2, while only the Isle of Wight, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly are on the bottom tier

Anger over the government's one-time payment of £ 1,000 for "wet" drunkards

Pub landlords have warned that the tier system will put traditional old-fashioned pubs out of business after ridiculing the government's proposed aid package.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced today that all "wet" pubs that have no food would receive a one-time grant of £ 1,000.

He said the payoff is in realizing "how badly they have been hit by this virus in what is usually what is the busiest month."

However, a landlord accused the Prime Minister of using the "token gesture" as a means to appease Tory rebels who criticize the Tier system.

Pubs campaign chairman Paul Crossman, who runs The Swan, The Slip Inn and Volunteer Arms pubs in York, said the meager £ 1,000 grant "offended" pub owners.

He also warned that this would spell the end of many old-fashioned pubs that don't serve food.

"Many customs officers say they are really offended by this amount," he said.

“It may sound like a lot to someone on the street, but the income pubs need to make to stay afloat is £ 1,000 nothing. It's not going to save a pub, to put it that way.

& # 39; The support package on offer still doesn't fully cover the base cost for the vast majority of pubs, let alone to compensate them for the trade denied them during the vitally important holidays.

Mr. Crossman added, “This one-time payment is a symbolic gesture to appease his rebel MPs. This statement today is a pure policy of Boris Johnson.

“It's not enough to make a noticeable difference.

“It just reinforces the impression that the government just has no idea what this is costing pubs in lost trade.

& # 39; The support package isn't enough to cover most pubs this time around. Let alone compensate for lost trades.

“I have three wet-run community pubs here in York. We don't eat anything. We stay closed and fall in the price range where we are entitled to £ 2000 every 28 days which is a joke as our rent is £ 1000 per week.

"It's the real estate costs that scare people. The arrears are increasing all the time.

“Some people now owe tens of thousands of pounds. People are not going to clap for £ 1,000. It's a drop in the ocean and actually pretty meaningless. "

The confusion came after the government said that people who join Tier 2 starting today must have a "full meal" in order to buy a beer.

The law states that a large meal "is likely to be served as breakfast, main lunch or main dinner or as the main course of such a meal".

Some pubs have now launched new menus, one of which offers a "Boris Menu" for £ 1.99 – while Wetherspoon has launched a new range of breakfast muffins.

The landlords accused the government of "not clarifying" the essential eating rule.

An Essex pub has launched a new simplified menu for £ 1.99 so customers can enjoy alcoholic beverages without having to spend a lot of money or have a large meal.

The Kings Head in Gosfield is called "The Boris Menu" and serves plates like a hot dog and chips. baked beans on toast with cheese; and cheeseburgers and fries.

38-year-old pub owner Matthew Arnold told Essex Live, “Every time a new regulation is put in place, pubs spend a lot of time and money.

"It's the frustration that started the menu idea initially at the same time it was serving customers who don't necessarily want a large and expensive meal every time they visit us."

Meanwhile, ahead of tomorrow's reopening, the pub chain Wetherspoon has launched a new breakfast menu that includes a muffin range and brings the price of coffee and tea down to 99p.

Customers can choose from four new breakfast muffins – egg and bacon; Egg and sausage; Breakfast (with bacon and sausage); and egg and cheese.

Other pubs have long rules written on their website to keep customers safe.

The tailors at Cambray Place, Cheltenham have compiled a list of 17 things customers should know before entering the watering hole.

The list includes a recommendation to reserve a table in advance, seating rules, and a warning that customers sitting outside will not receive refunds for unfinished meals and drinks in bad weather.

Other pubs in Tier 2 have announced that they won't open at all, even though they are allowed to.

The Royal Standard near Weymouth remains closed, according to a post on its Facebook page.

It said: “After the announcement, we made the heartbreaking decision to unfortunately remain closed until the next review on Friday, December 16th.

“We had planned to restart our food, but the limitations of the policy forced us to make that decision. On behalf of the entire team here, we thank you for your continued support and hope to see you all again soon.

"Stay safe, gang, and we'll get bigger and better again."

Another pub, also called the Royal Standard, this time in Yeovil, will also remain closed.

A post on his Facebook page said: “After the announcement of the introduction of the new levels.

“With a heavy heart we will not reopen on December 3rd as planned.

"As soon as we return to the first stage, we will open our doors again to all our dear customers!"

In the meantime, the punters have enjoyed the return of the pubs.

The intensive care nurses Juan Garcia (27) and Francisco Sanchez (28) had come straight to the pub from a night shift in a nearby hospital.

The couple, who originally came from Spain, put half a liter of orange juice in breakfast muffins.

"We just finished a night shift and came right here for breakfast, which feels good," said Garcia.

Mr. Sanchez added, "It's actually a tradition. It's good to be back

"But I don't get a beer because if I did I would pass out after all the work."

The intensive care nurses Juan Garcia (27) and Francisco Sanchez (28) had come straight to the pub from a night shift in a nearby hospital

The intensive care nurses Juan Garcia (27) and Francisco Sanchez (28) had come straight to the pub from a night shift in a nearby hospital

Damian Brady, 66, enjoyed a drink over asparagus with regulars Steve Baker, 65, and boyfriend Sidney

Damian Brady, 66, enjoyed a drink over asparagus with regulars Steve Baker, 65, and boyfriend Sidney

General Manager Jon Newton serves a beer to the first customer of the day at Five Degree West in Falmouth, Cornwall

General Manager Jon Newton serves a beer to the first customer of the day at Five Degree West in Falmouth, Cornwall

Pub-goers enjoy breakfast at the Cheltenham-based Bank House pub in Gloucestershire

Pub-goers enjoy breakfast at the Cheltenham-based Bank House pub in Gloucestershire

Pub-goers enjoy breakfast at a Wetherspoon pub in London today, following the introduction of the new Tier 2 rules

Pub-goers enjoy breakfast at a Wetherspoon pub in London today, following the introduction of the new Tier 2 rules

Mr Garcia said he did not understand why people should be forced to eat with their drink.

Landlord – contact MailOnline:

What is YOUR pub that serves as an essential meal?

Or do you use a snack to bring in food?

Contact me: james.robinson@mailonline.co.uk

"I don't know what this is about. If you want more drinks you can just go from pub to pub," he said.

"It's not going to work – like a lot of the things you did."

Damian Brady, 66, enjoyed a drink over asparagus with regulars Steve Baker, 65, and boyfriend Sidney.

Mr Brady ordered a Kronenbourg with his full English breakfast but was frustrated with the government's new rules.

He told MailOnline: "This breakfast will be the slowest breakfast in history. I'm still here at 4pm." One bean, two beans …

“The government has no idea – the rules are absolutely childish. There is no set pattern at all. "

Mr Brady tried to order a second beer when the waitress was delivering his breakfast but was informed by his friends that it was against the rules.

"I tried and I failed," he joked. "The rules remind me of a puzzle – it's almost that complicated.

"At the same time, it's great to come into the pub and talk to people."

"Even though I was happy at home – four cans of Stella, £ 5.50 and four cans of Guinness, £ 5 – I was in my element."

"Let's have a cooked breakfast and a beer!": Tier 2 drinkers are happy when the ban ends, while Tier 3 drinkers long for the pub – as the landlords are prepared for a busy day they serve "rich meals".

England's second national lockdown ended overnight and caused a wave of excitement on social media as people prepared to return to the pubs – and landlords prepared for a busy day serving "hearty meals" .

Social media users rejoiced this morning with the end of the month-long shutdown that ended overnight.

The blocking rules will be replaced by a new tiered system from today. The rules stipulate that pubs in Tier 2 areas, including London and much of the Southeast, can reopen.

Hours after the ban was lifted, tier 2 social media users quickly showed their willingness to return to the pubs.

But those in Tier 3, where pubs and restaurants are only open for takeout, had to long for a beer.

A Twitter user, Neil Hughes, said, "I'll make a hot breakfast and a beer."

No, Evans said, “We made it to the end of the lockdown. See use (sic) in the pub for 5 Guinness and a Cesar salad. & # 39;

Another said, "Lockdown is over, you can catch me in the pub with my friends tonight unless you're in tier 2 or 3."

Another Twitter user said, "I'm getting ready to go to the pub tomorrow."

Jo Mac, a Twitter user, said, “And we're not banned anymore! Wohoooo !!! Who would want to come to the pub with me to have a beer and a good meal? «

Another said: & # 39; Woohoo! The blocking has ended. We are free to have a beer in the pub.

“With a Scottish egg, of course. Do we have to sit at a table and eat it with a knife and fork, or can we stand at the bar? & # 39;

Another said, "Lockdown is over, you can catch me in the pub with my friends tonight unless you're in tier 2 or 3."

But while the folks in Tier 2 were excited to go to the pub, the folks in Tier 3 craved a beer.

One said: & # 39; Back to Tier 3, well done everyone! – Now let's get Tier 2 so I can go to the pub! & # 39;

Another said, “Oh great, after four weeks I can go back to non-essential stores. But not to the pub or anything pleasant.

"Tier 1 before the lockdown, Tier 3 today, utter madness."

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